50 of the Greatest Debut Novels Since 1950


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For a reader, there’s something magical about picking up a first novel — that promise of discovery, the possibility of finding a new writer whose work you can love for years to come, the likelihood of semi-autobiography for you to mull over. The debut is even more important for the writer — after all, you only get one first impression. Luckily, there are a lot of fantastic first impressions to be had. In fact, the year’s best might have been published just this month. After the jump, check out some of the greatest first novels written since 1950 — some that sparked great careers, some that are still the writers’ best work, and some that remain free-standing (but hopefully not for long!). Don’t see your favorite debut here? Add it to the list in the comments.

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50 of the Greatest Characters in Literature


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One of the things literature does better than almost any other medium is allow us to experience another person’s quality of mind, and sometimes even inhabit it. It follows, then, that every avid reader has a favorite literary character — whether they’re beloved for dastardly deeds, tough-girl antics, sex appeal, or a high snark quotient — and that there are many impossibly good ones out there. After the jump, you’ll find 50 of the best. To be clear: a great character isn’t always one you like (just ask Claire Messud), but one that is somehow extraordinary, or evokes some kind of delicious story-feeling in the reader. As always, this list reflects the personal tastes and proclivities of its creator, and many great characters didn’t make the cut (Jo March, Huck Finn, Merusault, Anne Shirley, looking at you), so if your favorite isn’t on here, and them on in the comments.

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The Greatest Monsters in Children’s Literature


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Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are first roared its terrible roars on this day in 1963. Today marks the beloved book’s 50th anniversary. Sendak’s tale about a young boy whose imagination transports him to a land full of “wild things” was an early, rare portrait of the dark emotions children learn to cope with. “If I’ve done anything, I’ve had kids express themselves as they are, impolitely, lovingly… they don’t mean any harm. They just don’t know what the right way is,” Sendak said of the book in a 2004 interview. The many monsters in children’s literature have helped young readers face their fears, empowering them — and in some cases, frightening them to tears. We love them all, so we’ve selected 13 of the greatest monsters featured in children’s books. Tell us your favorites, below.

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Article: The Library of Alexandria


The link below is to an article that takes a look at the demise of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, the ancient world’s greatest library.

For more visit:
http://www.teleread.com/library/historys-greatest-library-killed-by-cuts/

Infographic: The Greatest Books of All Time


The link below is to an infographic concerning the greatest books of all time. Personally I believe the infographic is flawed – what do you think?

For more visit:
http://www.flavorwire.com/314940/exclusive-infographic-the-greatest-books-of-all-time

John Adams, by David McCullough


I have just finished watching the mini series ‘John Adams,’ starring Paul Giamatti as John Adams and Laura Linney as Abigail Adams. I found the mini series to be difficult to watch, as it was hardly brilliant drama despite the rhetoric on the DVD case. Not being American was perhaps a reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the mini series. I found it to be a disappointment as a viewing spectacle. But how true to the man and to history was the mini series? This is a question that now has my attention – for the portrayal of John Adams in the production was hardly that of a man to be admired.

Adams comes across as a self-centred, vain glorious man, with poor people skills and a terrible father and husband. He appears to seek his own advancement to the expense of those about him and also to be full of envy and petty jealousy. He also appears to be a somewhat poor diplomat and politician overall – even though he held the greatest office in the United States, as second president following that of George Washington.

So now I come to the book on which this mini series was based, ‘John Adams,’ by David McCullough. I am now going to read this book and see just how true to the book and actual events the mini series achieved. I find it difficult to believe that Adams could have been the way he was protrayed in the film – now I will seek out the truth for myself.